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glorious namewho, being practically and
well acquainted with the grievances and wrongs
of you, the injured pith and marrow of this land,
and having heard you, with a noble and majestic
unanimity that will make tyrants tremble,
resolve to subscribe to the funds of the
United Aggregate Tribunal, and to abide by
the injunctions issued by that body for your
benefit, whatever they may bewhat, I ask
you, will you say of that working man, since
such I must acknowledge him to be, who, at
such a time, deserts his post, and sells his
flag; who, at such a time, turns traitor and
craven and a recreant; who at such a time,
is not ashamed to make to you the dastardly
and humiliating avowal that he will hold
himself aloof, and will not be one of those
associated in the gallant stand for freedom
and for Right!"

The assembly was divided at this point.
There were some groans and hisses, but the
general sense of honour was much too strong
for the condemnation of a man unheard.
"Be sure you're right, Slackbridge!" "Put
him up!" "Let's hear him!" Such things
were said on many sides. Finally, one strong
voice called out, "Is the man here? If the
man 's here, Slackbridge, let's hear the man
himself, 'stead o' yo." Which was received
with a round of applause.

Slackbridge, the orator, looked about him
with a withering smile; and, holding out his
right hand at arm's length (as the manner of
all Slackbridges is), to still the thundering sea,
waited until there was a profound silence.

"Oh my friends and fellow men!" said
Slackbridge then, shaking his head
with violent scorn, "I do not wonder that you,
the prostrate sons of labour, are incredulous of
the existence of such a man. But he who
sold his birthright for a mess of pottage
existed, and Judas Iscariot existed, and
Castlereagh existed, and this man exists!"

Here, a brief press and confusion near the
stage, ended in the man himself standing at
the orator's side before the concourse. He
was pale and a little moved in the facehis
lips especially showed it; but he stood quiet,
with his left hand at his chin, waiting to be
heard. There was a chairman to regulate
the proceedings, and this functionary now took
the case into his own hands.

"My friends," said he, "by virtue o' my
office as your president, I ashes o' our friend
Slackbridge, who may be a little over hetter
in this business, to take his seat, whiles this
man Stephen Blackpool is heern. You all
know this man Stephen Blackpool. You
know him awlung o' his misfort'ns, and his
good name.''

With that, the chairman shook him frankly
by the hand, and sat down again.
Slackbridge likewise sat down, wiping his hot
foreheadalways from left to right, and never
the reverse way.

"My friends," Stephen began, in the midst
of a dead calm; "I ha' hed what's been spok'n
o' me, and 'tis lickly that I shan't mend it.
But I'd liefer you'd hearn the truth
concernin myseln, fro my lips than fro onny
other man's, though I never cud'n speak
afore so monny, wi'out bein moydert and
muddled."

Slackbridge shook his head as if he would
shake it off, in his bitterness.

"I'm th' one single hand in Bounderby's
mill, o' a' the men theer, as don't coom in wi'
th' proposed reg'lations. I canna' coom in
wi' 'em. My friends, I doubt their doin' yo
onny good. Licker they'll do yo hurt."

Slackbridge laughed, folded his arms, and
frowned sarcastically.

"But 't ant sommuch for that as I stands
out. If that were aw, I'd coom in wi' th' rest.
But I ha' my reasonsmine, yo seefor
being hindered; not on'y now, but awlus
awluslife long!"

Slackbridge jumped up and stood beside
him, gnashing and tearing. "Oh my friends,
what but this did I tell you? Oh my fellow-
countrymen, what warning but this did I give
you? And how shows this recreant conduct
in a man on whom unequal laws are known
to have fallen heavy? Oh, you Englishmen,
I ask you how does this subornation show in
one of yourselves, who is thus consenting to
his own undoing and to yours, and to your
children's and your children's children's?"

There was some applause, and some crying
of Shame upon the man; but the greater part of
the audience were quiet. They looked at
Stephen's worn face, rendered more pathetic
by the homely emotions it evinced; and, in
the kindness of their nature, they were more
sorry than indignant.

"'Tis this delegate's trade for t' speak,"
said Stephen, "an he's paid for't, an he
knows his work. Let him keep to't. Let
him give no heed to what I ha' had'n to bear.
That's not for him. That's not for nobbody
but me."

There was a propriety, not to say a dignity
in these words, that made the hearers yet
more quiet and attentive. The same strong
voice called out, "Slackbridge, let the man be
heern, and howd thee tongue!" Then the
place was wonderfully still.

"My brothers," said Stephen, whose low
voice was distinctly heard, "and my fellow
workmenfor that yo are to me, though not,
as I knows on, to this delegate heerI ha
but a word to sen, and I could sen nommore
if I was to speak till Strike o' day. I know
weel, aw what's afore me. I know weel that
yo are aw resolved to ha nommore ado wi' a
man who is not wi' yo in this matther. I
know weel that if I was a lyin parisht i' th'
road, yo'd feel it right to pass me by as
a forrenner and stranger. What I ha getn,
I mun mak th' best on."

"Stephen Blackpool," said the chairman,
rising, "think on't agen. Think on't once
agen, lad, afore thour't shunned by aw owd
friends."

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